Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mariangela's Pizza Dough/Mushroom and Turkey "Pepperoni" Pizza

Freshly kneaded dough comprised of all-purpose and white-wheat flours, yeast, milk, oil, and salt

While living in Reggio Calabria, Italy, I met my now boyfriend and later his family. Every time I went to their house for lunch and/or dinner, his mother would spoil me with so many yummy dishes. In fact, to this day, one of the reasons my boyfriend wants me to return is so that he can eat that well again :).

His mother and I share a love for making different types of bread dough and cakes. So, I remember fondly the first time I saw her make pizza dough. I watched her intently and took photos. After eating my first unforgettable slice, I asked her for the recipe. She happily wrote it down for me, and I made this dough for my mom as soon as I returned to the States. My mother liked it so much that she asked me for the recipe and made it herself.
Second Batch of dough: Turkey "Pepperoni" and Mushroom Pizza (I added spinach and arugula later but was too hungry to take another photo! :D)
When I lost the recipe, my boyfriend's mom wrote it down for me again, my boyfriend took a photo of it, and sent it to me on my phone.
A photo of Mariangela's pizza dough recipe and her handwriting :)
I've made it so many times now that I've almost memorized it. It is such a simple recipe, which mirrors most, authentic, Italian recipes and dishes. They are so simple yet so delicious! However, I made U.S.-style pizze with salami or what we (erroneously) call "pepperoni" ("pepperoni" means "little peppers" in Italian), mushrooms, and spinach/arugula, which are blasphemous toppings in my boyfriend's Italian eyes :). He prefers a wholesome Pizza Margherita or the pizza his mom makes (which I'm now being forced to make later :D).

First batch of dough: Salami or "Pepperoni" and Spring Mix Pizza with mozzarella and provolone
So, now I share this lovely, dough recipe with you all. It makes enough for 4 personal pizze. With this dough, I put half of it in the freezer and made the other half a few days ago (the pizze from both portions of dough are shown). For the dough shown here, I used 50% all-purpose flour and 50% white-wheat flour.
I used non-traditional cheeses: extra-sharp cheddar and monterey jack!
My boyfriend's mother made this dough with milk every time I visited but originally made it with water. I've never tasted the water-version of her dough, so I make it with skim milk or half skim milk/half water. It's up to you! I highly suggest weighing your ingredients, but I have provided conversions in parentheses. Enjoy!
Turkey "Pepperoni" and Mushroom Pizza

L'impasto per la pizza di Mariangela

2 cucchiaini di zucchero
1 bustina di lievito di birra
500 grammi di farina (Ho usato 250 gr farina 00 e 250 gr farina integrale)
1 cucchiaio di olio
350 ml di acqua o latte
1 cucchiaino di sale
Mariangela's Pizza Dough
2 tsp of granulated sugar
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose or bread flour (I used half white-wheat and half AP
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water or milk
1 tsp of salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water/milk together in a large, mixing bowl. Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up and wake up for 5-10 minutes. Add oil, flour, and salt until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes if using a stand mixer. Once the dough is well-kneaded, place the dough ball in an oil-lined bowl. Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Once doubled in size, knead the dough again, cover it, and allow to rise a second time (I always did this step once, but I recently discovered she does it twice.). Once risen twice, section off the dough into four parts. Roll out the dough you'll be using, and freeze the rest in a zip-loc bag or two.

Pizza Sauce and Toppings

One small can of tomato sauce (or tomato paste with some water) or whole tomatoes, crushed
Italian seasoning
sugar (optional, to cut down on the acidity)
red chili peppers
capers (optional, did not use)
turkey pepperoni
Spinach/arugula mix (not pictured)

Mix the first six ingredients together. For the toppings, I used turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and added a spinach/arugula mix afterwards.
Bake at the hottest temperature for your oven on a pizza stone, pizza pan (Mariangela's uses this), cast-iron skillet, or the back of a jelly-roll pan. I prefer to dock or poke holes with a fork in the dough and then cook it for about 3 minutes. Then I take it out, add the sauce and toppings, and cook it until the crust is to my liking.


  1. Que deliciosas que ficaram,...
    Espero por ti em:

    1. Muito obrigada, Mary. E elas estavam molto gostosas. :)

  2. Now you have to make the original Pizza Mariangela with arugula

  3. Perché non avevi scritto in italiano, fratello cattivo? Per la prossima volta, farò la pizza come ha fatto la mamma.

    1. Oh, yessss... So you'll create another phenomenon like "Fettuccine Alfredo"

  4. Did she use commercial yeast or a live yeast? Just wondering what it's like to bake in a country that has such a reputation for beautiful breads.

    1. Hi! She used commercial yeast. She made it more than once, and I remember her making it once with fresh yeast as well. She doesn't work in a bakery; she is a home cook. So, she doesn't have access to the same ingredients one may find in the Italian bakeries. Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! This looks fabulous. Now I'm craving a perfect Italian pizza!

  6. Ciao, Memoria! La pizza tua e la pizza da la mamma looks too delicious, as if something looking too delicious is a bad thing)! Anyway, I am so looking forward to coming to visit you or have you visit me (either way works for me--just so you make this pizza for me). I like the new layout of your bloggity blog, and I love your photos and recipes! Keep it up, and you'll be way famous!

  7. Thanks for the recipe.. its simple and easy. Will make it tomorrow

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  9. Thinking of you today, just used up the last of my flour to make this dough again. It's easily one of our favorite meals! Love, Ashley and Kevin

    1. Hey Ashley!!!!! I knew it was you just from your comment, but I checked out your blogs just to be sure and to see what you've been up to. You need to update your blogs! Just like me LOL. I'm glad you're enjoying this recipe. Post some photos of your pizza creations on your blog! Take care!


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